My research degree

A postgraduate research degree or Higher Degree by Research (HDR) provides a unique opportunity for deep focus on an area of interest to extend your critical understanding and make a significant contribution to your chosen field. You will be supported by a team of internationally recognised researchers and have access to a range of development opportunities.

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How to apply


Choose your course or project

Research is an exciting journey of independent, supervised discovery. There are several types of research degrees available at UWA. You can choose a degree that is research only or combine research with some structured coursework. If you already have an idea of your own research, submit your application for a specific course outlining your research proposal.

Explore research options

You may find your skills, experience and interest align with an existing research project defined by an academic research team. You can browse available projects and apply directly for a specific project opportunity.

Explore project opportunities


Determine your eligibility

UWA is internationally recognised and ranked in the top 100 universities world-wide. We aim to attract the highest calibre research students to engage in research that is relevant and world-leading. To be eligible for entry into a postgraduate research (HDR) degree at UWA, you will need to demonstrate:

Adequate research preparation:

  • An applicant is normally considered to have fulfilled the requirements for admission to an HDR course if they can demonstrate they have undertaken supervised individual research where they have designed and conducted a scholarly investigation in the context of an existing body of knowledge.
  • In exceptional circumstances, consideration may be given to applicants whose qualifications do not meet the definitions of adequate research preparation outlined in the policy (clause 4.1), where the school/supervisor believes that the applicant is likely to succeed in the course. In these circumstances, admission may be granted to a Masters Degree by Research in the first instance.
  • meet any additional requirements for your course

Adequate Research Preparation policy

English language competency

  • Provide evidence of your English competency, by one of the means listed.

English language requirements


Identify a supervisor

Supervisors advise, guide and provide constructive feedback throughout your research degree. There should be good alignment between your supervisor’s expertise and your research project.

Search our research repository to identify potential supervisors in your field of interest before contacting them with your academic transcript and a brief outline of your research proposal to seek supervision.

Learn more about organising a supervisor.

Find a supervisor


Apply online

You can apply for most postgraduate research degrees (HDR) throughout the year, however, there are deadlines for some specific degrees. Review the individual course page for further details.

View individual courses  

In your application you'll need to provide supporting documents, including academic transcripts and a summary of your proposed research outlining:

  1. background to the topic
  2. aims of the research
  3. significance of the research
  4. the methodology you'll use
  5. a brief reference list

Once you’ve confirmed your supervisor and compiled all required information, you can submit an application through our HDR application portal.

Select your course or project of choice and click on the ‘Enquire here’ button to progress to an application.

Lodge application

There is no cost involved in submitting an application.


Accept your offer

You'll receive the outcome of your application via email.  

Please note that all offers have an acceptance expiry date listed. If you do not accept by this date your offer will lapse.



Once you formally accept your offer you can enrol in your course. Specific instructions on enrolment will be provided to you at this time.

Enrolment can take place any time during the year, except December and January.

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Research Scholarships

Learn about the range of scholarships available to both domestic and international students.

Explore scholarships  Search scholarships

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to study a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) course?
We offer multiple pathways to study a HDR degree at UWA. If you don't meet the criteria for direct entry to your course of choice or are uncertain, contact the HDR Admissions team via askUWA.
How do I find a supervisor?

There needs to be a good alignment between your supervisor’s area of expertise and your research project.

Search the UWA Research Repository to identify potential supervisors in your field of interest.

Contact potential supervisors with your academic transcript and a brief outline of your research proposal to seek supervision.

Learn more about organising a supervisor.

Where can I find information about available scholarships?
Visit our Scholarships website.
What's the deadline for submitting my application?

You can apply for most postgraduate research degrees (HDR) throughout the year, however, there are deadlines for specific degrees. Review the individual course webpage for further details.

When do I have to accept my offer by?

The acceptance deadline is detailed in your offer letter.

How do I defer my offer?

Contact us at askUWA if you need to request a deferral to your commencement date.

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